Skye and Staghorn Founder Dakota Gilbert on Australia, Miami and Finding the Right Swimsuit

founder dakota gilbert in greece - skye and staghorn

SKYE & Staghorn is an Australia-based swimwear and resort wear brand founded by Dakota Gilbert in 2012. Prior to starting her own label, Gilbert worked in fashion in both Australia and London and grew up enjoying summers on the coast of Western Australia.

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For the brand’s summer collection, they collaborated with artist Tom Abbiss. It was this campaign that made us take note of SKYE & Staghorn, and it also introduced us to model Paulina Lea Rose. We would go onto interview her during Miami Swim Week.

skye and staghorn

Speaking of Miami Swim Week, this is an event that holds a special place for Gilbert. Although the brand made its debut at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia in 2012, it is Miami where the brand has made an appearance every year since its founding.

“I think being a part of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia and also attending Miami Swim Week every year is a great way to see what other brands have been up to and to catch up with people in the industry,” Gilbert shared.

“Fashion shows are always very exciting and nerve racking.”

In regards to Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia where the brand took a five-year break from and returned in 2017, Gilbert had this to say about that experience, “Fashion shows are always very exciting and nerve racking. But, I guess because it was five years in-between these shows, we had matured and grown a lot more as a brand and the whole show was a bit easier to wrap our heads around.”

skye and staghorn

With customers from Australia to Miami, we had to learn more about the SKYE & Staghorn woman. She has been described as “an independent strong woman who likes to stand out from the crowd”, which we can relate to and probably one of the reasons we were so drawn to this brand. So, who is Gilbert’s muse? We asked.

“When I was 20, I interned at Tank Magazine in London,” Gilbert said. “Carolina Issa [now chief executive and fashion director for Tank Magazine], who was one of the creative directors was such an inspiration for me and is my ultimate muse.”

It is this trifecta between London, Australia and Miami that seems to give Gilbert a unique perspective for her collections. And, the fact she does not leave the house without a cup of Earl Grey tea, seems to emphasize her London connection.

skye and staghorn

Growing up in Western Australia and now back in Perth, Gilbert definitely has ties to her roots and to the beach. When it comes to swimwear, she has shown her knack for carrying her vision through into the brand’s designs to its choice in models to represent the brand. Before our interview ended, we had to ask one final question. How does someone who loves the beach but may not know where to begin when it comes to shopping for swimsuits, choose the right one?

“Choose one piece [of swimwear] you are going to live in over the summer and then one that you love and might be a little less user-friendly.”

“I always say to my friends, choose one piece you are going to live in over the summer and then one that you love and might be a little less user-friendly,” Gilbert advised. “That way, you have your go-to swimsuit and then something a little more special.”

We like that advice. Much like having a go-to little black dress, we all need (at least) one practical swimsuit and a go-to fun swimsuit.

ounder dakota gilbert and her mini Zimi – skye and staghorn

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